The College of Grassland Agriculture at Northwest A&F University (NWAFU) is devoted to both higher education and research in grassland science. NWAFU is one of the top tier universities directly supported by the “985” , “211” and ““Double First-Class university project” programs under the Ministry of Education and has strategically placed the College of Grassland and Agriculture on the top priority list for building first-class interdisciplinary schools and colleges. The college offers bachelor degrees for undergraduate education as well as master’s and doctorate degrees for graduate education and is supported by a group of dedicated educators and renowned researchers. The National Forestry and Grassland Bureau and Shaanxi Province has recognized the college as one of the key academic units for teaching and research.
Located at No. 3, South Section of Xi'nong Road, Yangling Agricultural High-Tech Industry Demonstration Zone, Shaanxi Province, the college has 36 faculty members, including 7 professors and 16 associate professors. Currently, the college enrolls 201 undergraduates, 97 master’s students, and 23 doctoral students. While the focus of our research is primarily on grassland in the west, we also address the challenges faced by the nation and the whole world in the grassland industry and related fields. Current research areas in the college include:
Grass germplasm resources and abiotic stress biology;
Forage physiology and production;
Forage breeding and seed science;
Forage products and Forage-animal systems;
Turfgrass science and management;
Grassland ecological theory and techniques;
Grassland informationization and monitoring.
Since the establishment of the depart in 2000 a total of 197 master’s/doctoral and 803 bachelor students have graduated. Our graduates are highly successful in employment. Over 95% of our undergraduate students in grass science are hired upon graduation with a 60-70% successful passing rate each year before graduation. The employment rate for our graduate students is 100%. Many of our graduate students continued to pursue a PhD degree or conduct research as a postdoctoral scholar at prestigious universities and institutes such as Peking University, Zhejiang University, Shandong University, Lanzhou University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Cornell University, University of Oklahoma, South Dakota State University, Munich University of Technology, Germany Tingen University, Hohenheim University, Abel University in the United Kingdom, Wageningen University in the Netherlands, University of Groningen, and Massey University in New Zealand. Some of our students have proceeded to take positions in top universities and research institutes in China.
The faculty in the college have extensive collaboration with international colleagues at Utah State University, South Dakota State University, University of South West Messi, University of Ibaraki, University of Munich, University Novi Sad in Serbia, University of Belgrade, University of Poznan, the Serbian Land Crops and Vegetable Research Institute, and universities in other European countries. The college has completed two major international cooperation projects: one is the EU2020 project, involving 26 units from 13 EU countries including France, Serbia, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Spain, and the other is the China and EU Intergovernmental Science and Technology Cooperation Special Project. In addition to substantial contribution to the collaborative research, our faculty often invite international experts to give seminars, workshops, or lectures for our undergraduate and graduate students in the college. Meanwhile, our faculty have visited international institutions with invitation to conduct collaborative research or academic exchanges.
In recent years, our faculty have led several major research projects, such as “Production of High-yield and High-quality Pasture and Improvement of Grass-animal Coupling Technology and Production Demonstration in the Northwest and Qinghai-Tibet Areas” supported by the National Science and Technology; “Breeding Forage and Grain Legumes to Increase EU's and China's Protein Self-sufficiency (2017-2021)" supported by the EU2020 project; and "Forage and Bean Crop Breeding to Improve EU and China Protein Self-sufficiency (2018-2021)” supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology Intergovernmental National Science and Technology Cooperation Special Project. Our faculty are successful in obtaining grants at national and provincial levels, securing a total 46.47 million RMB from 54 projects. The researchers in the college have been recognized in 5 provincial and ministerial awards, granted 17 invention patents, and published 501 peer-reviewed research papers and 7 books, contributing greatly to the social and economic development of the region as well as sustainable agricultural production in China.
Historically, teaching and research in the college started after Professor Wang Dong, the founder of grassland science in China, returned from the UK in 1942. He began to teach and research pasture science in the school. In 1978, Professor Lu Deren and Professor Jin Gongliang established a master's degree program in feed science and began to train graduate students in pastoral science. In 2000, the Ministry of Education accredited our new program in grass science for undergraduate education and training. The grass science program grew rapidly and began to recruit master’s students in 2004 and doctoral students in 2007. In 2011, the Ministry of Education certified the grass science at NWAFU as one of the top tier doctoral degree programs.
The development and success of the grass science program at NWAFU is a result of several generations of hard work and sacrifice from our faculty and staff. With this solid foundation, we are determined to build a stronger grass science program at NWAFU that can help achieve the goals set by the Communist Party in “Coordinating the Management of Land, Forests and Lakes”, “Beautiful China”, and “Village Revitalization”. We will align our effort with the strategic plans developed by the leadership at NWAFU. While we understand that challenges and obstacles lie ahead of us, new tasks and challenges provide new opportunities. We will diligently identify and target new research frontiers and employ innovative teaching methods in undergraduate education. We strive to develop a nationally and internationally recognized interdisciplinary research program and train highly qualified professionals and leaders in grass science, contributing to the great success of the "Beautiful China" and "Rural Rejuvenation" programs!